The Scottsboro Boys
By Kris Burkhart
• There were 9 Scottsboro Boys. Haywood
Patterson, Charles Weems, Clarence Norris,
Andy Wright, Ozzie Powell, Olen Montgomery,
Eugene Williams, Willie Robertson, and Roy
• All charged for the rape of 2 females on a
train, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates
• They were “train jumpers” which is used for
people who are poor and cant afford to pay the
fair for transportation.
Trial Background Cont.
• They were all going to be hung in front
of a huge crowd but it was postponed
so they could go to trial.
• While in jail they were all treated poorly
but everyone of them kept journals
which can be read on the website.
• The 9 boys were the defendant’s and they
had a New York white lawyer Samuel
Leibowtiz represent them.
• The trial itself though was brought in front of
Judge Hawkins but then later by Judge
• The boys were all sentenced to death except
E. Williams since he was a minor at the time
and was sentenced to life.
• Ruby Bates and Victoria Price said that
the boys beat them up and raped them.
• There was a letter recovered from Ruby
that stated she wasn’t really raped.
• Victoria was the main culprit in this
accusation. Even after Ruby admitted
she was lying Victoria still stayed with
Where and When
• The original accusation started in March
25, 1931 in Alabama
• April 6, 1931 was when the first trials
• The Supreme Court reviewed the case
for 6 months until they decided to
reverse the boys sentencing winning 7-
Criminal or Civil?
• This case was definitely a criminal case
because of the rape charge
• And it was brought to court and
underwent a trial
Results of Trial
• Judge Horton lost control of the case
and went on for 5 years while boys were
• A relief committee was formed called
the Scottsboro Defense Committee
• The trial was made into a movie in July
Information on the 9 boys after
• Patterson: in 190 he was in a bar fight and
killed the man and was sent to jail but 2 years
later died of cancer.
• Weems: contracted tuberculosis and moved
and married in Atlanta.
• Norris: oldest living Scottsboro boy died in
Bronx Community Hospital on January 23
Andy Wright: was in and out of prison for a few
years and then charged with rape again but
was proven not guilty.
• Powell: being very stubborn and not speaking
to anyone he was let out of prison in June
1946 then moved to Georgia
• Montgomery: one of the first boys to be
released in 1937. Wanted to be a lawyer but
just ended up traveling along and finally
settling down in Georgia
• Williams: He moved to Georgia
• Roberson: released in 1937 suffered severe
asthma attacks in prison.
• Roy Wright: went to the army but came back,
accused his wife of cheating and killed the
man, his wife, and himself
In My Opinion
• At first yes they were all tried unfairly by
one getting an all white jury and having
been wrongfully accused
• But William Callahan's did set the court
case right by helping 4 boys get free.
• And after that everything went fine and
all the boys were paroled and eventually